Between a Rock and a Hard Place: SharePoint in a Changing World, a Marketing Perspective

I’ve been on the marketing team here at Bamboo for a little over two and a half years now. I’ve had the privilege of writing content for, taking pictures of, and rubbing elbows with members of the SharePoint community all over the world. I must say, there really are a lot of wonderful people in SharePoint. As a marketing professional, it’s priceless to be able to get to know your industry so intimately.

Recently, I was able to attend a marketing conference in New York City. As wonderful as SharePoint events are, it was nice to be among “my people” for once. REST API conversations were replaced with title tag best practices; database storage options shifted to website hosting and domain management; Gantt charts gave way to SEO data graphs… Needless to say, I was in MY element! (Note that the beautiful weather of the fall in NYC didn’t hurt either). At the end of the conference, the main takeaway was clear: Content is king. No amount of SEO or social media presence will make up for boring or stale content. If you’re a marketing professional reading this, you know that the struggle is real. I returned to the office motivated to make a change and ready to inspire our subject matter experts to create amazing, new content that could be incorporated into our marketing collateral.

It was at that point I realized that I had NO idea what they were going to write about.

Looking back over this year, Microsoft’s message has been clear: Office 365 and SharePoint Online are the future of collaboration.  But wait… If SharePoint ONLINE is the future, what about our dear friend SharePoint ON-PREM? As a third-party vendor whose sales are predominately made up of on-prem SharePoint enhancements, Microsoft’s message paints a very grey picture. On one hand, we see Microsoft’s vision for the future of collaboration, but on the other; we see our customers’ roadmaps and where they are currently investing resources.  The problem? They do NOT necessarily align.

So what do you do? Regardless of what industry you’re in, whether or not you like it, change is inevitable. Our challenge has been to figure out how we can leverage the new online extensions, solve the bigger challenges, and help our customers embrace change all while keeping THEIR businesses running smoothly. While it hasn’t necessarily been easy to strike the right balance, we’ve nevertheless been working diligently behind the scenes to design and build SharePoint enhancements that both embrace the future of collaboration AND meet our customers’ business-critical needs.

As you’ve probably guessed now, it’s a wild and scary yet overwhelmingly thrilling time to be a member of the SharePoint community.  We are excited about the very unique opportunities that the perfect storm surrounding the future of SharePoint has offered us. Specifically, how do we, as marketers, continue to produce high-quality content that shows our audience what is possible in our industry’s ever-changing climate?

Unfortunately, it feels much easier to come up with more questions rather than provide answers.  When it comes to “What do I do when my industry is drastically changing,” I honestly doubt there even is (or will be) a definite right or wrong answer. This leads me to wonder about how I apply what I learned at that marketing conference I attended… If content is indeed king, what are you doing to ensure that your organization isn’t dethroned?

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